fbpx

Terry Crews Talks Overcoming ‘Fears of Vulnerability’: ‘Love Conquers’

Photo from Terry Crews’ Instagram

Terry Crews Talks Overcoming ‘Fears of Vulnerability’: ‘Love Conquers’

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Actor and TV host Terry Crews shared his journey of healing from a traumatic childhood that would later affect his marriage and how God showed him that strength comes from weakness. 

“One of my earliest memories was of seeing my father, drunk, knock my mother to the floor. This happened regularly. Even so, I was considered lucky by neighborhood standards because my father was around and didn’t beat us kids,” Crews recalled in a Guideposts article. 

Despite this, Crews said that he loved his father, whom he called a “hard worker and a good provider,” and tried to build a bond with him but to no avail. 

“I would watch him get ready for work. I’d try to make conversation about how he shined his shoes…or whatever else I could think of, but he’d give clipped answers, as if to say, ‘Leave me alone,’” he said. 

The Michigan native learned to handle his father’s rejection by “getting tough.” 

“Squash your feelings. Get tough or get eaten alive” was the sentiment Crews adopted, both in the emotional and physical sense. He began to workout at the gym daily to get stronger. 

“I loved art. I would sit at the kitchen table and draw superheroes with bulging muscles. I dreamed of becoming strong and powerful like that,” the 55-year-old said. 

He added, “I could make myself look fearsome. Muscles were my superpower.” 

That “superpower” would ultimately help lead to a career in the NFL as a defensive end and linebacker. Still, Crews admitted it was a “lonely existence that reinforced I could never show fear or weakness.” 

By then, he was already married to his college sweetheart Rebecca King, whom he met while visiting a friend’s church where she played piano. 

Crews eventually left pro football to pursue acting and landed his first role in the reality show BATTLE DOME. He starred in the sitcoms EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS and BROOKLYN NINE-NINE.   

However, success didn’t make his family life any easier and added more challenges, according to Crews, who admitted to being an “alpha male” towards his family. 

“I never raised my hand to them, but I tried to control them just the same. Like buying my kids the toys they wanted, then using that as leverage to lay down the law. If that didn’t work, I’d lash out verbally,” the father of five wrote. 

“The more success I had, the more bad-tempered and controlling I got, fearing it would evaporate any minute,” Crews said. 

Then Crews recalled one particular argument where Rebecca gave him an ultimatum: “I love you, Terry, but if you don’t get help, I don’t see us working this out.” 

This would be the wake-up call that Crews needed to begin the process of healing his marriage and receive healing from his troubled past. 

“I finally broke down and told her everything I’d tried to keep hidden; emotions I didn’t even understand why I was having. Primal fears of vulnerability and loss of control that my muscles could no longer conceal,” Crews said. 

Crews reached out to their pastor, Jim Reeve of Faith Community. 

“I still thought of church as something I did only for my wife and kids. Yet, somehow, I knew I could trust Dr. Jim Reeve with the darkest parts of myself, as if I were being led to him,” he said. 

One secret that he kept hidden from his wife was an affair he had years prior. After he admitted the infidelity to his wife, he was certain that he would lose her and the kids, which resulted in suicidal thoughts, as he told Brandon Saho.  

“I would say suicide entered in right when everything fell apart. That was the first time I actually seriously thought I would be better off dead,” Crews told Saho.  

At that low point, he decided to go into therapy, and along with the guidance of Dr. Reeve, he said that it was the “beginning of my new life.” 

“Therapy helped me understand that words can hit as hard as fists, and I’d hurt my family deeply with my words and toxic behavior. I went to Rebecca at last and said, ‘I want to start over. I want to change.’ I got on my knees. ‘I’m sorry. I had it all wrong.’ Then, humbly and sincerely, I asked her for forgiveness,” he said. 

Crews added that Dr. Reeve and his wife Marguerite, whom he and Rebecca call “spiritual parents,” helped him become a better husband and father. 

“They’ve shown us that a loving marriage starts with God at the center,” Crews said. 

“What requires more vulnerability than to forgive and be forgiven? Well, I’m working on that,” he admitted. “In the meantime, I remember that love conquers fear—always—and that to be a man means accepting myself, weaknesses and all.” 

Crews told Joel Osteen on TBN about how he learned to forgive others.  

“You can have revenge or success, but you can’t have both. Because the essence of revenge is unforgiveness,” Crews said. “But the problem with that is you go back into a spiderweb, you go back into the mud and go back into the dirt, and it keeps you there. Whereas success involves forgiveness, success involves cutting off the old.” 

Crews has also been candid about his pornography addiction and how he overcame it, as Movieguide® reported: 

“Once the internet came out, even before that I remember going to bookstores. It was like my dirty secret. It was the thing that I couldn’t beat,” he admitted. 

“It was eating at me, and I knew that I wasn’t right,” the actor said. 

“I realized I needed to press the reset button, for real, on my whole life, and this, this is where being born again meant something,” he recalled on TBN. “It wasn’t a phrase. It wasn’t something people said. You had to be a new person.”

“That hit me so hard,” Crews continued. “[Being born again] was something that I would say but never acted on. I would be the new guy in [church] and then the old guy outside. But it’s like Jesus said, ‘You can’t put new wine in old wineskins.’ You have to be new. And this realization…took me to my knees…I had to raze my entire life.”

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.